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Only 10 minutes to go…

It is my turn to plate up the dessert, I instantly knew I was in trouble. My chocolate delice in the fridge had not set yet! Peter looked at me, he wasn’t happy! (Cue that heavy background violin shriek with a heavy thump at the end and follow by the fire ball, Masterchef fanatics across Australia is now chucking things at TV, annoyed by the predictable ad break suspense)

That It was the corporate lunch challenge in MasterChef where the boys had to prepare 3 course light lunch. It actually never crossed our mind that the menu we’ve planned were actually “heavy”. We were so focused on preparing a high standard menu to impress the CEOs and had totally forgotten about the word – light. Nevertheless, we did a great menu and worked like a well-oiled machine in the kitchen. We were calm, quiet and very organised in the kitchen – Kumar and Peter on the entree, Michael and Hayden on the main, and left me alone to do an overly ambitious dessert within the time limit, I shall call it the Deadly Chocolate Délice.

Despite it was a disaster in the kitchen, the chocolate ‘mess’ was absolutely to die for (pun intended). It is rich, velvety, gooey and extremely sinful. You know when you dip the finger into a peanut butter jar and lick it off, then feeling so good but extremely guilty hoping no one is watching? Yep, exactly the same feeling. It is a guilty pleasure.

The deadly chocolate délice consists of 3 layers – the chocolate brownie, the chocolate cream and a chocolate glaze on top. The bottom layer is a chocolate brownie studded with macadamia nuts, it is fudge-y and chewy at the same time. The middle layer is the ‘soul’ of this dessert, a thick layer of chocolate cream, more or less a thick layer of chocolate ganache, it is silky smooth and not overly sweet. And then the top, a simple chocolate glaze that adds bitterness sophistication and a nice glossy finish.

I decided to make this deadly chocolate délice again for a recent Christmas in July party. Thank god I didn’t have to race against the clock this time and had enough time to make sure the chocolate is set in the fridge overnight. It sure is a beauty when is done right. You’ve asked for the recipe and here you have it, set yourself a challenge this weekend and make this deadly chocolate délice, your friends will thank you for it, not so much of your expanding waistline.

(Inspired by Pastry Chef at Marque, Lemonpi)

Chocolate Brownies (Bottom Layer)
1 egg
100g caster sugar
170g bitter chocolate (I used Callebaut dark chocolate)
60g unsalted butter, melted
20g cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
30g plain flour
50g toasted macadamia (or hazelnuts), skinned and finely chopped

1. Preheat the oven at 180C and grease a deep baking tray (33x23x4cm) then lined with baking paper.
2. Add the eggs and sugar together into a mixing bowl and whisk until thick and pale.
3. Melt the chocolate in a large bowl using double boiler over low heat and make sure the water doesn't touch the base of the bowl..
4. Stir in the melted butter, then fold in the egg mixture.
5. Sift together the cocoa powder, baking powder and flour into the mixture and fold it in as well.
6. Mix in the chopped nuts, then pour the mixture into the tray, spread the mixture evenly with a spatula and make sure it is even thickness all around.
7. Transfer to oven and bake for 12 minutes, until just cooked but still a little soft in the middle.
8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool while you make the chocolate cream.

Chocolate Cream (Middle Layer)
400ml double cream
400ml milk
5 yolks
100g caster sugar
500g dark chocolate, chopped (I used Callebaut)

1. Adjust the oven to 150C.
1. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until combined but not too frothy.
2. Heat up the cream and milk in a heavy-based saucepan, remove from heat once it reaches boiling point.
3. Slowly pour half of the hot milk into the yolk mixture while continuously whisking. Once combined, pour the mixture back into the hot milk and whisk all together.
4. Return the mixture back to the stove and cook gently for 2 minutes just to heat it up again then pour the hot cream mixture into a bowl of chopped chocolate.
5. Let it sits for 15 secs then whisk gently from center until all chocolate has dissolved. Pass through a fine sieve to get rid of lumps.
6. Back to the brownie, press the edges down to cover the sides of the tin to make sure there aren’t any gaps, then immediately pour on the warm chocolate cream. Make sure there is still space at the top of the tray for the glaze later.
7. Place the tray back into the oven and cook for 30 minutes, make sure keeping an eye on it and check every 20 minutes. The chocolate cream should be just set on the edges and wobble slightly in the middle.
8. Once cooked, remove from the oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes and then stretch a piece of cling film over the tray; and let it finishes cooking in its residual heat and completely cools down.
9. Transfer the tray to the fridge and let it set overnight or at least 2 hours.

Chocolate Glaze (Top Layer)
150ml water
175g caster sugar
55g cocoa powder
100ml double cream
50g dark chocolate, chopped (I used Callebaut)

1. Put the water and caster sugar in a saucepan on medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
2. Whisk in the cocoa powder and cream, and bring it back to the boiling point, immediately turn the heat down and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Leave to cool for 3 – 4 minutes, then pour on to the chopped chocolate, whisking until it has melted.
4. Pass through a fine sieve and leave to cool.
5. Remove the tray from the fridge, pour and spread a layer of the cooled glaze on top, smoothing the surface with a palate knife. Return the tray back to the fridge and let it set until is ready to serve.

1. Prepare a jug of hot water and soak a knife in it.
2. Take the tray out of the fridge and let it rest on kitchen bench for 5 mins, then very carefully lift the chocolate delice out of the tray.
3. Now take the warm wet knife, slice the chocolate delice into portion (12x3cm).
4. Decorate with a fleck of gold leaf.